April 8, 2022 | By Joyce DiMascio | Image credit: Peter Jones Special Events

Whether you were a Shane Warne fan or not, his televised state memorial service on March 30 was a big occasion in Australian sporting history.

Held on the turf of the Melbourne Cricket Ground, it was no ordinary Victorian state memorial event. It was on a larger and more complex scale than many others because it was televised and involved so many people.

Pulling it off was an immense effort in collaboration and included well-known members of the Victorian events industry. They supported the Department of Premier and Cabinet to bring together the massive undertaking which shone the light on Warne, one of Australia’s much-loved cricketers whose sudden death reverberated around the world.

The televised production was delivered by JAM TV and FRONTIER, running for two hours and including performances and tributes from artists and friends around the world.

Luke Tunnecliffe, head of content for JAM TV told micenet the Warne family was closely involved in all elements of the tribute.

“Our vision at JAM TV for the event was to produce a send-off befitting the character and standing of Shane Warne,” he said.

“In order to do this, I was in touch with his family throughout. Every decision and creative idea was run past the family. As long as the family was happy, we were happy.”

He said the event had garnered positive feedback from around the world but that it was most important to him that the Warne family was happy.

Tunnecliffe said at the SportNXT summit held at CENTREPIECE at Melbourne Park this week, British member of parliament and former Olympian Lord Sebastian Coe congratulated those involved in delivering the tribute. He said Warne was much loved in the UK and the televised event was a most fitting tribute.

There were many companies involved in the event.

Among the companies who were brought in to support its delivery was Peter Jones Special Events and Harry the hirer, who provided the furniture.

Peter Jones told micenet there were just 17 days for all the parties involved to pull together the event.

“It was a remarkable team effort which began with a first meeting the Friday after Warne’s death on March 20,” he said.

“It was designed to be a televised event, with the program and visual elements designed by JAM TV and FRONTIER.”

Jones said his company’s role was to support the Department of Premier and Cabinet to make sure the co-ordination was done properly especially having all the quotes in order and ensuring the event COVID protocols were followed carefully.

“It was a big complex event and we were there to provide the extra resources needed by the state government’s team.”

He said the responsibility for the oversight and delivery was held by the Protocol and Events team at the Department of Premier and Cabinet, who led the planning with the production teams and stakeholders.

“It really was amazing – things happened so quickly. Everyone knew what to do and we all just got on and did what was needed. It was like a freight train going at high speed,” he said.

Tunnecliffe said the massive team effort did not go unnoticed by Warne’s family.

“I know that the collaboration and hard work by all parties and suppliers in such a short space of time was greatly appreciated by the Warne family,” he said.

Image credit: Peter Jones Special Events